Monday, December 16, 2013

David's Heaven (Another Empathy Exercise)

I'm playing at empathy again, though my guest series is postponed until the new year both because of holidays and because of a needed break. I'm participating in 40 Days of Poetry with Story Sessions, and the discipline of sitting down to write poetry every day often surprises me with unexpected inspiration. (Rule: You must always show up. The Muse seldom arrives first.)

“Oh, that I had wings like a dove!

I would fly away and be at rest;

yes, I would wander far away;

I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah

I would hurry to find a shelter

from the raging wind and tempest.” Psalm 55:6-8(ESV)

David's Heaven

I wonder how many anguished nights he spent wishing

he could be “just” a shepherd boy again?

Heaven would be having no memory of the wars,

the women, the testosterone foolishness

his men called “mighty.”

Heaven would be burying his face against a baa-ing friend,

wrapping his fingers tightly in the soft and oily wool.

Heaven would be a clear and star-filled sky, each star

with a name of its own and a familiar greeting when the innocent threw himself to the soft earth

and called out into the echo of the solitary


alone but never lonely,

unaware of the topsy-turvy of that sentiment,

which would be his destiny.

His were quiet dreams

and laughing rivers, with stones only for playing at games or warding off predators which was

more of a sport

after his lifetime of experience.

A distant howl, a crackling of branches; he knew the sounds

of danger, and thrilled at being the leader and the hero

of his tiny,


bleating band.

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